With all the children now thinking about heading back to school, we look at the vital part a good oral hygiene routine plays in keeping teeth healthy from an early age.
In this article we look at some of the common problems in achieving this and tips to ensure your children’s teeth stay in tip top condition.
- Not brushing thoroughly
It is common for children to rush through brushing their teeth, meaning that parts of their mouths are missed.
Get your child to imagine their mouth is divided into four segments and they need to brush each segment for 30 seconds. This will mean that it is more likely that they will brush all the surfaces of their teeth.If you think they have missed any teeth, follow up by brushing their teeth yourself when they have finished.
- Not brushing for long enough
Many young children have no concept of how long two minutes is. A great way to ensuring that they are brushing for the required length of time is to introduce a fun timer using their favourite song, an egg timer, or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. This way they get a clear idea of how long they need to be brushing their teeth for.
- Not wanting to brush their teeth
Making brushing fun is the best way to ensure successful brushing.
- You could allow them to pick their own toothbrush with a favourite cartoon character on it.
- Make a special toothbrush holder with stickers and coloured paper
- Brush along to a favourite song
- Fill in a brushing reward chart every day leading to a reward at the end of the month
Top tips for children’s teeth brushing
- Use a toothbrush recommended by your dental team and get your children to choose their favourite colours or characters
- Use a suitable fluoride strength toothpaste for their age group:
- Under three years old – 1000ppm
Over three years old – 1350-1500ppm
- Find a toothpaste that they like the flavour of
- Children easily swallow toothpaste, so it is best to use a smear of toothpaste for babies and children up to three years of age, and a pea-sized blob for children aged three to six
- Brush for two minutes, twice a day. This should be last thing at night and on one other occasion during the day – usually in the morning.
- Divide brushing into four sections in the mouth and brush each quadrant for 30 seconds – upper left, upper right, lower right, lower left.
- Brush in a circular motion and brush each surface of each tooth – tops and sides.
- Spit the toothpaste out after brushing but do not rinse. Rinsing washes away the protective fluoride
If you would like some more help and advice on ensuring your children’s teeth stay healthy, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book an appointment today, all our staff are highly experienced dealing with children and can ensure that any visit is fun and stress free!